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Page 8, last line, for pessavant read passavant.
In several of the Notes in the Life of Matilda of Flanders, read Ordericos/or
Odericus. 68, last line of text, for Thierry read Turold. 191, line 18, insert a comma after harons. i '."-. note 2, insert semicolon after sovereign?, andotnU semicolon after century.
An announcement of this work, the first volume of which is now submitted to the public, appeared in the Literary Gazette of August 26, 1837, and other leading periodicals of the day, under its original title of "Historical Memoirs of the Queens of England." I had previously had the honour of communicating to her Majesty Queen Victoria, that for some years I had been engaged in preparing for publication the personal history of those Royal Ladies, from many of whom her own illustrious descent is derived; and I was favoured with a most gracious permission from her Majesty to dedicate the work to herself.
A long and dangerous illness delayed the progress of the first series. Meantime, the title I had chosen was appropriated by another writer, and under that very title memoirs have been published of some of the Queens whose biographies, in regular and unbroken succession, are comprised in the present series of the "Lives of the Queens of England."
Biography, however, especially when historically treated, is a widely extended field, to which all labourers are freely welcomed in this intelligent age of inquirySuch opposite views, indeed, are taken of the same events and characters, by persons of differently constituted minds, that the cause of truth is sure to be benefited when the research of several writers is directed to the same subjects.
"Facts, not opinions," should be the motto of every candid historian; and it is a sacred duty to assert nothing lightly, or without good evidence, of those who can no longer answer for themselves. I have borne in mind the charge which prefaces the juryman's oath,—it runs as follows:—" You shall truly and justly try this cause; you shall present no one from malice; you shall excuse no one from favour," &c. &c.
Feeling myself thus charged, by each and every one of the buried Queens of England whose actions, from the cradle to the tomb, I was about to lay before the public, I considered the responsibility of the task, rather than the necessity of expediting the publication of the work. The number of authorities required, some of which could not be obtained in England, and the deep research among the Norman, Provencal, French, and monkish Latin authors, that was indispensably necessary, made it impossible to hurry out a work which I hoped to render permanently usefuL
The principal part of the work being now written and in types, and the whole in an advanced state, I have acceded to the wish of my publisher for its issue in monthly volumes, which will appear in regular chronological succession.
As it has been one of my principal objects to ren<der the Lives of our Queens a work of general interest to every class of readers, I have modernized the orthography of extracts from ancient authors, and endeavoured as much as possible to avoid prolix and minute details, on matters more suited to the researches of the antiquarian than to volumes which, I would fain hope, may find a place in the popular and domestic libraries of their day.
The introduction contains brief notices of our ancient British and Saxon Queens. Their records are, indeed, too scanty to admit of any other arrangement. Yet a work professing to be the history of the female royalty of our country would have been incomplete without some mention of those princesses.
The biographies of the Queens of England commence, in their natural order, with the life of Matilda, the consort of William the Conqueror, the first of our AngloNorman queens, and the mother of the succeeding line of kings, whose dynasty, in the person of our present Sovereign Lady Queen Victoria, occupies the throne of England.
Independently of her important position among the Queens of England, the incidents of the life of Matilda are peculiarly interesting, and it affords me much pleasure to make her better known to the English reader; since the rich materials of which her memoir is composed, are chiefly derived from untranslated Norman and Latin chronicles.
The life of Berengaria, the crusading queen of Richard Coeur de Lion, will also for the first time be presented to the public, in the Second Volume of this work, with a portrait in her bridal costume.
The memoir of Isabella of Valois, the virgin widow of Richard II., with whose eventful history some authors appear little acquainted, will be included in these biographies.
The memoir of Margaret of Anjou contains a portion of her life which is at present unknown to English historians—the details of her childhood and early youth: these are derived from the most authentic sources, and comprise many new particulars, both of her personal and public life as Queen of England, and the mournful epoch of her widowhood. Some curious incidents connected with the life of her unfortunate daughter-in-law, Anne of Warwick, afterwards the queen of Richard III., which will be found in her memoir in this work, will I